These three renovation projects don’t demand expert handiwork, and you can complete them in a single weekend.
Install a Wall or Floor Safe
Freestanding safes — especially smaller models — offer limited security because thieves can walk away with them, then figure out how to open them later. You’ll get better security from a floor or wall safe. These models get secured to your home’s foundation or walls.
Consumer Reports recommends safes that offer water and fire resistance. Additionally, it should be large enough contain your most precious valuables, from jewelry to electronics. You’ll also want to keep important and irreplaceable documents in the safe, so figure out what size safe you need before you go shopping.
Light Up Your Yard
There’s a reason burglary traditionally happens after dark. Thieves detest light because it increases their chances of getting caught. While you can’t force the sun to stay in the sky overnight, you can simulate sunlight with attractive and security-conscious landscape lighting.
Line your front walk and driveway with short path lights, for instance, and add flood lighting near your front and back doors. Illuminate any area where a burglar might hide, such as behind a tree, in a crowd of bushes, or along the side of your house with no windows.
Improve Doors and Locks
Weak doors and basic locks extend an open invitation to burglars. Experts recommend that homeowners install non-hollow core exterior doors with reinforced strike plates. Thieves can kick down a hollow-core door with little trouble. Additionally, if you have a sliding door, install a separate lock at the bottom that you can only access from the inside.
Add at least two locks to your exterior doors. One should consist of a thumb-turn deadbolt that you can’t unlock from outside. You might add a second deadbolt that you can unlock from outside, then use a knob with a privacy latch. If your door features a mail slot, install a basket over it so burglars can’t reach inside.
Avoid Hidden Keys
Burglars have learned how to search for hidden keys. Homeowners stick them under potted plants, rocks, benches, and other outdoor decor and furniture, so it’s not a safe solution. Instead, you might give a spare key to a trusted neighbor, keep a spare key in your wallet or purse, or program a locksmith’s number into your cell phone.
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You might also consider installing barometric or PIN locks. To enter the home, you must either provide a thumb print that the system recognizes or enter a personal identification number. Both add much more security than a hidden key.
When you know that you live in a secure home, you don’t have to jump at every unexpected noise. While crime rates have dwindled in many cities and towns, taking precautions will keep your family safe.